A Student with Autism and a Behavior Chart
My son is in ninth grade, which means high school. And, he’s had some bumps in the road during this all-important transition.
What are some of the issues?
*First of all, my son is going without an aide for the full school day.
He has never been aide-less before in school. He wanted to go to high school without an aide, and we’re supporting his wishes.
*He has been late to a few classes.
*He has also been caught playing games on his phone.
*He has forgotten to turn in homework. And, he has mixed up days for a quiz, which meant that he was unprepared for the quiz (and a previous biology test).
*My son also got upset when he was told that he was out of time to finish a quiz.
Without an aide there to support a mini-meltdown (or the building to one), he had to control it himself. Apparently, he did, even though the teacher still reported to us that he did “react.”
(A note about teachers: Some of them are very hands on, some of them not so much. They mean well. You’ll just get more “notes” from some. It’s all good.)
*It has been reported to us that my son needs to be more organized. That has been an ongoing struggle for my son. I have helped him organize his notebooks many a time.
*My son gets uncomfortable when he gets too sweaty. During the 100 degree days that we’ve had, this creates a problem because he squirms and feels very comfortable in his lower region. This makes it look like he’s doing inappropriate touching. He’s not, but that’s not the way it looks.
How are we supporting him?
My husband and I (with my son’s input) have developed a chart to support his behaviors and schoolwork (class participation, in-class work, homework, and tests/quizzes).
This chart has points that he can earn or lose.
His motivation is to be able to attend Smash 4 tournaments on a monthly basis (taking September off). This is very important to our son. (Very Important!)
What’s the goal here?
We’re hoping to motivate him enough so that he earns these trips to Smash tournaments. Not just assume that he gets them. Especially if school becomes “lazy” or “secondary.”
In the past, my son has been able to re-focus and ultimately end up doing well in school.
So, I think this chart will work for him (like it has done in the past).
How is the chart working (so far)?
We need some adjustments for the next month in terms of points and one or two “issues” that we didn’t include on the chart, like meltdowns and not putting his name on his homework.
More important…we need to check in with our son regarding the importance of the chart—Yes, it is important. It will help our son focus and do well in school, which we know he can do. He is intelligent and likes his subjects.
However, we have to make sure that the chart doesn’t add stress.
Adding stress is not the purpose of the chart. The purpose is to support his behaviors and help him focus.
If my son is thinking about the impact of the negatives from the chart, then that is not productive and not helpful to him.
We just want him to be productive, focused, and energized toward school, and then the byproduct of a decent school performance is his reward—going to a Smash Brothers tournament once a month.
We have high hopes that he’ll right-the-ship! A Student with Autism and a Behavior Chart
Here’s a website to help with charts:
More on Kimberly Kaplan:
To purchase “Two Years Autism Blogs Featured on ModernMom.com”
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LinkedIn: Kimberly Kaplan
You can also find this autism blog on ModernMom.com